German Alternative Duo Lea Porcelain Presents Choirs To Heaven

Le groupe allemand alternatif et post-punk Lea Porcelain dévoile son troisième et tout dernier album Choirs to Heaven en mai 2021. Le duo consiste du producteur Julien Bracht et du vocaliste Markus Nikolaus. Leur musique conjugue des formes divergentes de genres notamment alternatif, électronique, indie, post-punk et garage rock en une construction qui présente le schéma et définit la silhouette de leur signature musicale. 

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For melophiles loving the atmosphere that the likes of Radiohead or Coldplay give off, it’s your day as this recommendation is about a record, and a band, that holds both of them music signatures. Scoping into a helluva work of alternative rock and indulging back into one of our favourite genres, ‘Choirs to Heaven’ is one of the most underrated releases of 2021.

No, this is not dancefloor-friendly, yet this will help you move and even travel far enough into your own self. As a disclaimer, we’re not encouraging anything chemical; as with the right attention and an ounce of spirituality, you’ll be where you’re meant to be. Don’t go tripping on us just yet tho, here is an overview of what you should know:

Lea Porcelain is an alternative band from Berlin, and pulling the strings, notes and chords are producer Julien Bracht and vocalist Markus Nikolaus. Their take on alternative rock bends and takes over among a range of other genres spanning from electronic, indie-rock and punk rock, to even incorporating features of folk.

The authoring of the band is even more amazing. The lyrics combined by the music styles generates an overall mood of gloom and darkness, but not of any kind, as it merges with a heartwarming layer of poetry. This makes me think of an imagery, when I sit on one of those quays at one of the flic-en-flac hotels, and indulge in the view of the sunset, when dusk falls and around gets dark.. with the last surviving colours of the sun emanating in such a way, where the sea is painted more than the sky.

Talking of this, the title ‘Sink Into the Night‘ fits quite actually well.

Initially from Frankfurt, the duo relocated to London for a year and took this time to indulge themselves in the British cultural scene. After drenching from head to toe into the British’s sphere, the band moved on to touring for 3 years across Europe, compromising of venues in St. Petersburg, Reading & Leeds, and festivals such as Latitude and The Great Escape in the UK.

Since their first release and debut EP in 2016 with “Out Is In”, they followed by releasing their debut album “Hymns of the Night”, which is a 12-track packed project. From that time, they further developed their aural signature which takes us to the actual sound present on “Choirs To Heaven”. It is only the amalgamation of all these years, experience and through their studio work in Funkhaus Berlin that sparked this melancholic experience of an album.

The title track “Choirs To Heaven” has been blessed with the photographer and director Peter Kaaden’s touch, starring Lera Abova’s intense, intimate and deeply intricate acting.

As per the duo’s interview onNothing but Hope and Passion; Markus Nikolaus relates on the songwriting process and believes that you can sing anything if you can feel it. “I have this thing when I write, and sometimes it hurts a little bit, and I am like, oh, that is the right path. Go there. And the same thing when we are in the studio. If it makes you happy or if it makes you perceptive or if it really just hurts a little bit because you are confessing something, you are on the right path for a good song.” Nikolaus describes it as a process that comprises of its highs and lows, but once having got the gist of it, “it feels effortless“. He also mentions that the best songs are those he has invested least or no effort, and where there was no tension. The band in fact discarded an early version of Choirs to Heaven, before they settled on giving the latter another chance.

Markus Nikolaus (Left), Julien Bracht (Right) source; SYN Media (Australia)

Furthering down into the abyss and warmth of this amazing album, the track Ohio comes as maybe our personal favourite of this album. Using the word ‘Maybe’ here because it’s actually difficult to choose from this calibre of a track-list. The lyrics and songwriting process has been drawn from poetry. Nikolaus reveals that he sings of Ohio from a poem, bearing the same title, written by the American poet Lucy Brock-Broido. The song bears a soundscape of yearning and loneliness, a story about two estranged lovers seeking a future by each other’s side. Also, an interesting fact about Nikolaus’ songwriting process is that he sticks to a typewriter to keep himself inspired.

With radio hits as well, “Pool Song” was released as a teaser in 2020 in view of their upcoming album. The track found itself handpicked by The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas on Kult.FM’s playlist on GTA V.

Released on May 2021, this album is available for purchase on Bandcamp, and you can also support Lea Porcelain through patronage following this link.

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